On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


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copper - green color

hematite - pinkish color

drilling in the stope (room)

side trip down one of the tunnels

Cart filled with ore dropped from next level 100 feet up--Bicycle for...

Up to 5 sticks of dynamite packed into each hole

2 seater honey-pot

Tombstone - Almost time for a shootout!


Big Nose Kate's




The Queen Mine tour in Bisbee ( one of the most productive copper mines of the 20th century) was terrific. We donned our slickers, miners hats and headlamps and went deep into the mine on a mine train. Our one hour tour was led by a retired miner and was very interesting and enlightening. Only a small amount of info was a repeat of our last mine tour in Montana. This one was more extensive and more personal. It was fascinating to learn what the daily grind was like in the mine - drilling holes in the wall - first with hand tools and later with air and water tools, then packing dynamite into the holes and loading the rocks into a mine cart after the blast. Falling rocks was the reason for most of the common accidents.

We asked what the miners ate for lunch,( our guide said he packed square burritos meaning bologna between two pieces of white bread!)and then someone asked how they went to the bathroom because once they went down into the mine at 8am they didn't come up until 5pm. I refer you to the picture of the honey-pot! Our guide also described what close ties each miner would have with their partner in the stope ( that's what they called the area in which they worked .) Everyone really enjoyed the tour and felt they had learned so much. A bargain at $12 per person.

We drove around the town of Bisbee after the tour hoping to find some cute local place for lunch. No such luck. Off to Tombstone( The Town Too Tough To Die!) and had a lovely soup and sandwich at the O.K.Cafe. It was an extremely windy day in southern Arizona - gusts up to 40mph. The dust on this dirt road town was really swirling. Not too crowded except for Big Nose Kate's Saloon ( that's why we ate at the O.K.Cafe).

We still had plenty of time to drive to Tucson and tour the town. We drove through Mountain Park and it was like driving on a roller coaster. The street went up and down and curved like crazy. It was a very scenic drive with lots of ocotillo blooming. We passed up on going into the Old Tuscon Studios where so many western movies and TV shows were filmed because they were going to close in an hour and a half . That didn't give us the amount of time needed to justify the price of admission. Maybe next time.

On to Historic Old Tucson - The Presidio section. Couldn't find a hotel room for less than $250 a night. (What recession?) so we drove further north and booked into a perfectly acceptable Holiday Inn Express for $80 with breakfast and a Priority Club welcome bag filled with snacks. That's more like it.

The wind is still ripping. Hope it calms down before we get back to Mesa tomorrow and have to drive the coach back to the campground.

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